The first post in my California Travel Guide series has to be dedicated to getting lost in the gorgeous Venice Canals. Having been to Venice Beach a few times I didn’t really think there was much left for me to do there past the busy, touristy, beach boulevard filled with an eclectic range of characters. But that was until I realised I had only previously touched the surface of the Venice Canals. I can honestly say I fell in love with Venice all over again that day as I slowly strolled around the canals, over bridges, alongside the water. Breathing in the sweet air, thick with jasmine and blossom and enjoying each character filled home more than the last, stopping to take in their unique designs one after another.
The Venice canals are almost 110 years old! All 6 canals, each with their own name form a 2 mile loop, which you could easily walk around and not see the same thing more than once. The homes are all so uniquely designed and landscaped so beautifully, neighbours nodding at one another with a cup of coffee from their immaculate front gardens. They seemed a city away from the hustle and bustle and somewhat disconcerting Venice Beach boardwalk. It was serene and peaceful, the daily commute made by boat or bicycle and barely any cars were in sight.
When Venice was first founded, in 1905 by tobacco millionaire Abbot Kinney, miles of land was dug out to form the canals, designed to recreate the appearance and feel of Venice, Italy. But they weren’t always quite so beautiful. In the 40’s many of the canals were condemned by the city after cars had taken over much of the area in the late 20’s and roads built in their place. It was only in the early 90’s that the plans to reclaim the canals were finally approved and they were developed to their current state. Now the area is hugely popular – and expensive, and it’s easy to see why. I’d definitely recommend adding it into you itinerary if you’re heading to California, a perfect little getaway for a morning stroll.